B is for Beliefs

By: Gail Smirthwaite

How many times have you started a game of golf believing that you are going to play really badly that day and you are not at all surprised when you do!

Thinking positively will not guarantee you will win, but I can assure you that thinking negatively will GUARANTEE that you will play more poor shots and more importantly that you will not enjoy your day.

Our sub-conscious mind is a powerful tool and it is not capable of determining what is good or bad for us. It will just accept what you tell it and then it will go in search of the facts to support this decision. For example; if you tell yourself that you are going to hit the ball into the water, your sub-conscious mind will say 'ok then let's make sure it happens so that you can be right'.

Positive beliefs work the same way. Your sub-conscious will also help you to be right. It is very important to understand that by having positive beliefs we are more likely to achieve the successes we seek - on and off the golf course.

So where do our beliefs come from? They begin when we are very young and come from our social conditioning as we grow up; family, friends, and school all play a part, and carry on through our adult life, even our golf playing partners influence what we believe.

Our beliefs become habits and we all know how difficult it is to change a habit - no matter how negative it is easier to hang onto them than to change.

This is where the challenge lies. When we are on a downward spiral of thinking negatively how do we change it? Unfortunately, there is no 'quick answer' like anything that is positive and permanent - it takes practice.

This week try my ACE TIPS next time those negative beliefs kick in and your self-talk runs riot and keep repeating the process until it becomes habit.

Awareness... The physical reactions that you get when something is not going your way such as clammy hands or your heart racing faster, will be accompanied by your self-talk telling you possibly 'how hopeless you are' or 'that luck just isn't on your side.'

TIP 1: When you get these feelings walk quietly ahead and take 10 deep slow breaths. Keep your head up high and shoulders back and replace any negative self talk with a positive statement such as 'my next shot is going to be great'.

Keep it in the present tense and positive. Repeat it slowly until the negative feelings and thoughts go away. It requires repetition and practise.

Create Your Own Reality... If you tell yourself that you are going to hit the next shot into the bunker what happens? Nine times out of ten you will - and now we know why. If you have already started on the slippery slope of negative self-talk and getting yourself physically wound up too, your sub-conscious will kick in to protect you.

TIP 2: You 'create your own reality' if you want to have a miserable game go ahead. It is up to you to CHOOSE to change that belief and to get your sub-conscious to work for you in a positive way.


Enjoy Yourself ... Above all else have fun! Golf is a hobby - not a matter of life and death ... it is as much about the bad shots as the good - that's golf! So get it into perspective. The more you focus on the positive, the more you will enjoy your golf.

TIP 3: So make the CHOICE to have a positive day - no matter what golf or life throws at you!

I guarantee that when you consistently think more positively you will change your game of golf and your life for the better. THE CHOICE IS YOURS?


Next week C is for 'CONSISTENCY

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